Monday, January 12, 2015


Actively Encouraging Your Students To Pursue Music

Actively Encouraging Your Students To Pursue Music:
Part One - Resources to Open Their Eyes
by Mike Steffen

Every music teacher has students ask them about jobs in music from time to time. When this happens, it is important that we use these opportunities to actively encourage students to pursue careers in music! After all, they are the future of music and there are so many options available to them!! Teaching and performing are always the first two that come to everyone's mind but, in reality, they could also choose pursue music therapy, business, technology, marketing, composition, etc.!

Here are four groups that need to hear your input on this topic from time to time:

  • Your Star students who look to you as their guide as they prepare for college. You are their personal (and likely most-trusted) expert!
  • Your Full ensemble that may need a reminder that there are options for them after they put their instrument away for the last time.
  • Your energized Parent/Booster group who need some ideas for how to help guide their kids as college looms on the horizon.
  • Your Administrators who need reminding of the diverse real-world applications of the skills you are teaching daily in your classroom. Most, after all, are not trained in music, and thus look to you as the expert.
I encourage you to check out (and share!) the resources at the bottom of this article. They just may come in handy as you work to actively encourage your students to pursue music!

Resources for Careers in the Music World!

Best wishes for a great second semester, everyone!

Coming in February:
Actively Encouraging Your Students to Pursue Music: Part Two - Enlisting the Help of Others

Mike Steffen
Educational Representative - Palen Music Center Springfield
[email protected]

Mike Steffen grew up in Grandview, MO and holds Music Education Degrees from Missouri State and University of Missouri - Kansas City. He served as a band director for five years in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District (KC area) where he taught band in grades 5-12. While he was there, Mike worked with the LSHS Golden Tiger Marching Band, directed the Concert Band, and directed the middle school program. Most notably, he was instrumental in the development of the Lee's Summit High School Jazz Program which had an active, well-respected big band, two student combos, and placed many students in the All-District Jazz Bands each year. Prior to that, Mike taught middle school band in Pleasant Hill, MO. Mike loves playing the saxophone, is married to his high school sweetheart, Miranda, and is the proud papa of three beautiful girls - Melody, McKenna, and Mae!